The candied pecans and other candied nuts that you can buy in stores often contain butter or other milk-based ingredients. But this classic recipe is naturally dairy-free!
More than a decade ago, I stumbled upon a recipe for dairy-free spiced pecans on AllRecipes. I was immediately smitten by the sugar and spice combination, but the recipe needed a few tweaks.
I’ve since modified it for perfect results every time, and just the right amount of spice. That said, you can adjust the spices up or down, to taste, if you wish!
You might notice that this recipe for dairy-free candied pecans uses an egg white. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?
And don’t worry, I’ve included an egg-free option should you need vegan candied pecans. I’ve also added a Spicy-Sweet option and a couple of sugar alternatives. All turn out wonderfully delicious.
Special Diet Notes: Candied Pecans
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, plant-based, vegetarian, and paleo optional.
For egg-free and vegan candied pecans, substitute 2 tablespoons aquafaba for the egg white. The aquafaba should also become frothy when whipped.
- 1 egg white (see Special Diet Notes above for vegan option)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 cups pecan halves (can substitute other nuts for part or all)
- ½ cup sugar (see Sugar Options below)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy. Add the nuts and stir until well moistened.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Sprinkle this mixture over the moistened nuts and stir to combine.
- Spread the nuts out on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Check on the nuts periodically in the last 15 minutes - they can go from lightly toasted to burnt very quickly!
- Slide the aluminum foil or parchment paper with the nuts off the baking sheet, and let them cool completely.
Sugar Options: You can substitute brown sugar for the sugar for a light molasses flavor. Or you an substitute coconut sugar for a less sweet, lower glycemic, paleo-friendly treat.